Summary: How we worship shows how much worth we give God.

May I ask all the fathers to please stand up? Happy Father’s Day! Let me pray for you…

Have you ever wondered, “What’s the difference between father’s day and mother’s day?” A boy answered, “Well, Father’s Day is just like Mother’s Day… only you don’t spend so much on Father’s Day.” That’s why somebody wrote, “Calls on Father’s Day are not as high in number as calls on Mother’s Day… and most of the calls on Father’s Day are collect.”[1] Just imagine. How would you feel if your children give you an old, worn-out towel for Father’s Day? My mentor, Pastor Philip Tarroja, posted this comment on my Facebook. “I believe what a father gets on Father’s Day is truly his worth to his children.”

Open your Bibles to Malachi 1:6-14.[2] Our passage this morning starts with the right way to treat fathers: “A son honors his father, and a servant his master.” So, children must honor their fathers. But this morning, I would like to talk to you about another father… God the Father. What would God the Father get from us? What would it say about His worth to us?

So, let’s look at worship. Our present-day word “worship” evolved from the Old English word “worth-ship.”[3] Worship is WORTH-SHIP. That’s why, “How we worship shows how much WORTH we give God.” Read verse 6 again: “‘A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?’ says the LORD Almighty.” Here in our passage God is compared to a father. We are to honor God just as we are to honor our fathers. In fact, in the Old Testament, we would suffer the death penalty if we dishonor our parents. Exodus 21:17 tells us, “Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.” If honoring our parents was that serious, then imagine how much more serious it is when it comes to honoring God. In Hebrew, the word “honor” can also be translated “glory.”[4] It means “to be heavy” or “to give the proper weight of authority.”[5] We are to recognize His full authority over us. Note that God is also compared to a master. We are to respect God just as we are to respect our bosses. That’s why we worship God. He deserves our honor and respect. He is worthy of our worship.

When we fail to honor and respect God, it shows that we don’t recognize Him as our father and master. That was the problem of the priests during the time of Malachi. “It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name.”[6] And like priests, like people. The entire nation has shown contempt for God. The word “contempt” means “to look down on something as if it is worthless, to despise”. [7] When we fail to honor and respect God, we are saying that He is not worthy of our worship, that He is worthless.

At this time, we may be patting ourselves on the back. We may be saying, “I honor and respect God. I don’t despise Him.” In fact, even during that time, the priests were questioning that accusation. Malachi quoted them. “But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’”[8] Like them, we could not imagine that we could actually show contempt for God.

But look at the Lord’s answer: “‘You place defiled food on my altar.’ But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ ‘By saying that the LORD’s table is contemptible. When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?’ says the LORD Almighty.”[9] Supposedly, they should give God the best from their flock. Actually, they promised the best for God. But instead, they gave Him the animal that they could not even sell. Malachi called that cheating! “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord.”[10] They even offered Him that which was stolen or mutilated by wild animals. They offered to Him what they would not even dare offer to their government official. They would not give that to people that they looked up to. So the fact that they gave it to God means that they looked down on Him. God lamented, “And when you do offer something to me, it’s a hand-me-down, or broken, or useless. Do you think I’m going to accept it?”[11] It is as if they were saying, “Worship of GOD is no longer a priority”.[12] They think God is not worth it.

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